To further strengthen and accelerate comprehensive site development, the Forestland Management Project (FMP) organized a training aimed at capacitating its project implementing officers and staff in the proper management of rain gauges within its project sites. Conducted with assistance of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), the training sought to address knowledge gaps in the use of rain gauges – an issue previously raised during the fifth FMP Project Technical Committee meeting in December 2017.
About 60 participants composed of representatives of the FMP Central Project Management Office, project focal persons and site management officers under FMP Field Implementing Units in Region 2, 3, 6, and CAR attended the three-day training, which was held at the Hacienda Gracia Resort and Hotel in Lubao, Pampanga on February 14-16, 2018.
Leading the discussion and hands-on experience for the participants was Forester Hipolito Baldo, an expert from the Watershed and Water Resource Research Center of ERDB. Assembling, calibrating, and installing a rain gauge, and collecting, processing, and interpreting gauge readings were the topics covered during the training session.
Currently, there are around 15 serviceable rain gauges installed or about to be installed in select sites of the project areas. To effectively operate and maintain these units, protocols for site selection and designation of persons responsible for their maintenance, along with collection, analysis, and reporting of observed weather data were developed.
The FMP’s Project Implementing Units have also agreed to closely coordinate with other concerned agencies in order to gather other relevant weather data to determine micro-climate conditions prevailing in project sites. Such data, when compiled into a robust weather information, would help improve forestland productivity by providing partner people’s organizations precise timing to weather-dependent activities such as land preparation, nursery or plantation establishment, and so on. (FMP/ Paolo Balderia)